05/08/2022 - 16:23

Shire opposes $73m accommodation village

05/08/2022 - 16:23

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A proposed 500-person accommodation village to support the expansion of Albemarle's Kemerton lithium plant has failed to gain support from Shire of Harvey councillors.

Shire opposes $73m accommodation village
The Shire of Harvey council has opposed a proposed workers accommodation village in Binningup.

A proposed 500-person accommodation village to support the expansion of Kemerton's lithium plant has failed to gain support from the Shire of Harvey councillors.

US company Albemarle Corporation started construction at the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area to develop Kemerton lithium hydroxide processing plant in 2019.

Town planners element lodged an application on behalf of Albemarle, proposing to build a $73.4 million accommodation village in Binningup for up to 500 construction workers on the expansion of Albemarle's lithium plant in Kemerton.

The Shire of Harvey council has opposed the proposed accommodation village, recommending the Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel members refuse the application at its meeting later this month.

Councillors were against the proposed development at a meeting last month, saying the lot was zoned under 'general farming' purposes and not for 'workforce accommodation' use.

The subject site, a 24.5 hectare piece of land at 96 Binningup Road, is owned by B & J Catalano.

Shire deputy mayor Michelle Campbell said the application would remove the land which could otherwise be used for large scale farming.

"The approval of this proposal would set an undesirable precedent for like proposals to establish on General Farming zones properties across the shire," she said at the meeting.

The proposed development comprises 128 accommodation villas, commercial kitchen, communal dining hall, recreation and wellness centre, seven laundries, back of house service areas and a 350-bay carpark.

The recreation and wellness centre includes an outdoor swimming pool, basketball courts, gymnasium and mini golf.

According to the report submitted to the JDAP, the village use would be temporary and subject to a 10 to 15 year lease with the landowner.

"The village has been designed with a light footprint that supports opportunities for adaptive reuse or a return to a rural use," the report said.

The Regional JDAP will consider the application on August 15.

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